El Negrito Contento

Trio Atrato
Alfonso Córdoba 'el Brujo'
Chocó, Cantos de río, selva y ciudad



01. Trio Atrato & El Brujo Alfonso Córdoba - El Negrito Contento (son chocoano)
02. Trio Atrato - La Pesadilla (guaracha)
03. Trio Atrato - La Palma de Chontaduro (abozao)
04. Trio Atrato - Pascual Rovira (son chocoano)
05. Trio Atrato & El Brujo Alfonso Córdoba - La Pataleta (saporrondón)
06. Trio Atrato - Viniendo de Raspadera (son chocoano)
07. Trio Atrato - La Hermana Margarita (son chocoano)
08. Trio Atrato - Champa de Palo (son chocoano)
09. Trio Atrato - Mi Sábalo (son chocoano)
10. Trio Atrato & El Brujo Alfonso Córdoba - Serenata chocoana (bolero)
11. Trio Atrato - Adios Compay Gato (guaracha)


Alfonso Córdoba 'el Brujo' (voz)

Trio Atrato:

Gerardo Rendón (puntero),
Manuel Santacoloma Garrido (primera voz),
Julio César Valdés (segunda guitarra y segunda voz)
Afrocolombian music legend 'El Brujo' dies at 82
Monday, 29 June 2009

Alfonso 'El Brujo' Cordoba died Monday at 82, Colombia's Culture Ministry announced. The composer, singer and music collector is considered one of the most important exponents of Afrocolombian music.

According to a press release by the Ministry of Culture, the musician died in Quibdo, the capital of the west Colombian department of Choco.

Culture Minister Paula Marcela Moreno Zapataregreats the death of the music legend and praised him as "one of the greates t exponents of the musical heritage and memory of the Colombian Pacific. [He was] an all-round artist,full of great virtue and an immense heart."

Cordoba was not only a musician, but was also specialized in the production of traditional Afrocolombian jewelry, wood carving and the construction of musical instruments.

Because of the work of Cordoba, a lot of traditional east Colombian lyrics and rhythms were conserved as he traveled to document the musical heritage of the east Colombian jungles.

In 2008 he received the medal of the 'Gran Order of Cultural Merit, Colombia's highest cultural recognition.

El Brujo y su Timba - Música del viejo Chocó



La Contundencia
Con Calentura
Música Del Pacífico Colombiano



01. Fiesta San Pacheca
02. Kilele
03. Zukunducu
04. A mi es que me ven
05. Mosaico pacífico
06. Mosaico callejero
07. Ya vengo mamá
08. El embrujo de Inés
09. La balsa
10. San Pacheando
11. No era perfume, era mancua
12. El palo
13. El hombre na ma
14. Mi abuelo


LEONIDAS VALENCIA: Director, Arreglista y Piano.
DIRCEU TORRES: Saxofón Tenor

This musical group founded in 1985 as classical instrumental shawm, consisting of wind and percussion instruments: a clarinet, a saxophone, a tuba or flugelhorn, a drum, a snare drum and cymbals. These musicians were founders of  La Contundencia: Salamandra Oscar (RIP). (Clarinet), Neiva J. Moreno Becerra (saxophone); Leonidas Valencia Valencia (Euphonium), Abel Murillo Mosquera (drums), Wilson Cuesta Hoyos (Drummer) and Carlos Borromeo Cuesta (cymbals). In the beginning, the group performs the traditional rhythms of the Colombian Pacific and accompanies the dance groups of the department, patron saint festivities enlivened various peoples of the Chocó and participates in festivals, fairs and concerts. Since 1994, made the assembly of some folk songs sung with Américo Murillo and the course of the famous composers of picaresque lyrics Eyda Maria Caicedo Osorio (RIP). In 1995 it came time to record. "FIESTA San Pacho" had an immediate positive response in Quibdo and then throughout the Colombian Pacific, with songs like: Man Na 'Ma, Kilele and Etelvina, among others. La Contundencia has participated with major composers such as Zully produccuiones Murillo, William KLINGER, Octavio Panesso, Hipólito Pallares, Petronio Mosquera, Eyda Maria Caicedo Osorio, Augusto Lozano, John Bueno, Américo Murillo, etc. In 1997 La Contundencia received invitation to participate in the first Pacific Music Festival "Petronio Alvarez" in Cali, which would open the door to full recognition in the area above. In 1997 he won first place and in 1998 was declared out of competition. Also, the sample of Afro-Colombian identity by the Chirimía the strength, as the body of the ancient legacy authoritative expositor of African Culture in Colombia, has been staged in Bogota on other sites such as the Planetarium, the auditorium Lion Greiff National University, Gallery Café and Books, Bankruptcy singing, etc.. La Contundencia Orchestra has had the opportunity to switch on important stages with artists of national and international renown such as the Choco Horta (Puerto Rico), La Factoria (Panama), Luisito Carrión, Gilberto Santarosa, El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, Oscar Leon D, Pit Conde Rodriguez, David Pabon, Maelo Ruiz, Rey Ruiz, Victor Manuel, Grupo Gale, Grupo Bahia del Pacifico, Grupo Niche, Orquesta Guayacan, Jimmy Saa etc.

Chirimía (Spanish) is a Spanish term for a type of oboe, and in English is used to refer to various primitive oboes found in Latin America, based on instruments introduced during Spanish colonization...
The best-known music of the Chocó is the lively brass band music called chirimía. The chirimía band features homemade bass and snare drums, cymbals, euphonium (a small tuba) and one or two clarinets, and in its older version, reed flutes as wind instruments.


Los sonidos invisibles

Los sonidos invisibles
The invisible sounds
Ana María Arango. Gregor Vanerian
(2007 – 37 min. – Colombia – Alemania)
Asociación para las Investigaciones Culturales del Chocó (ASINCH)
Instituto de Investigaciones Ambientales del Pacífico (IIAP)
Akademie für Bildende Künste Johannes Gutenberg – Universität Mainz
Universitat de Barcelona
“The invisible sounds expose the musical life and the town festivals of the Chocó – one of the poorest and most stigmatized regions of Colombia. Going beyond merely visualizing the well-known problems of the region: war, the “misery” and the exploitation, this documentary tells us of the subtle forms of domination and resistance through music, where the song converts itself into a mirror of the culture.

Octavio Panesso (musician, composer and idealist) stars in this short film; his experiences and those of his friends allow us to understand how the teachings of Father Isaac Rodríguez from the Spanish Claretian missionaries, were used by the musicians as tools for reclaiming and strengthening what it means to be black and Chocoano through celebrations, popular music and the lyrics of the songs.”

The Chocó

Chocó province is an isolated rainforest region along Colombia’s northern Pacific coast and the border with Panama. Its main artery, the Atrato River, connects it with the Caribbean. The Chocó was an important destination for African slaves, who were sent there to work the rich gold mines of the region. The best-known music of the Chocó is the lively brass band music called chirimía. This music includes such international genres as polka, danza, contradanza, and mazurca, probably imported from the Caribbean, as well as local forms like abozao and levantapolvo. The chirimía band features homemade bass and snare drums, cymbals, euphonium (a small tuba) and one or two clarinets, and in its older version, reed flutes as wind instruments.
San Pacho

Chirimía is particularly popular in the October festivals of San Francisco (affectionately nicknamed “San Pacho”) in the city of Quibdó, which features over a month of chirimía dancing in the streets.

Tambora, a musical form usually associated with neighboring Panamá, and which features drums and singing, is found on the coast of the Chocó.


Sabor Y Tumbao

Pacífico Colombiano
Music adventures in Afro-Colombia


01. Markitos y La Sabrosura de Buenaventura - Linda Porteña
02. Grupo Saboreo - Homenaje a Petronio
03. Grupo Socavon - Homenaje A Justino
04. Grupo Bahía - Cantaré
05. Choc Quib Town - Somos Pacíficos
06. Peregoyo y su combo Vacaná - La iguana
07. Pacho Peña y su Chirimia - Las brisas del Chocó
08. Liliana Montes - Kilele
09. La Revuelta - La oya
10. La Contundencia - La Quitamarido
11. Grupo Naidy - Adios Guapi
12. Alfonso 'El Brujo' Córboda - El Piloto
13. F.P. Barrio Nuevo - La Camaliona
14. Markitos y La Sabrosura de Buenaventura - El caso del Vencedor
"Pacífico Colombiano" is a compilation that showcases authentic Afro-Colombian bands (with clarinets, euphonium, brass pans, snare drums, tambora or large bombo bass drums). The tracks on the record were all taken from local productions on the Pacific coast between 1998 and 2008 and aptly illustrate the growth of characteristic Pacific sounds of currulao, marimba and chirimia.

The Pacific coast of Colombia is filled with the sounds of the African marimbas, 6/8 rhythms, Afro-Colombian brasses, ancestral chants. This album offers a tantalizing glimpse at a cross-section of rural and urban music from older and younger generations with the marimba threading throughout the album like a musical snake.
Colombia is a land blessed with a rich variation of musical tradition. Well known to the international world for its cumbia, vallenata and salsa from the Atlantic coast, the Pacific coast has remained a well kept secret until now. In the past decade in Colombia itself Pacific music has made significant inroads into the national music culture as a new generation of musicians and producers carry on the traditions of pioneering musicians. These are all featured on Pacifico Colombiano.

Otrabanda (music from the other side of here and now and then) Records is proud to introduce this fantastic music to an international (world) music audience. This album offers a tantalizing glimpse at a cross-section of rural and urban music from older and younger generations from the cities of Buenaventura and Cali and the Chocó region with the marimba threading throughout the album like a musical snake. The tracks on the record were all taken from local productions on the Pacific coast between 1998 and 2008 and aptly illustrate the growth and development of its recording industry and characteristic Pacific sounds of currulao, marimba and chirimia (the Afro-Colombian fanfare).

The Pacific coast of Colombia breathes the spirit of Africa - filled with the sounds of the African marimba, 6/8 rhythms, Afro-Colombian Fanfare, ancestral chants. The first African to arrive on the Pacific coast was not short on ingenuity: he made his marimba from hardwood palm timber; achira seeds were used to fill the guazás (the Pacific maraca). The wood was then used to create the drum family: bombos or tambora drums (for striking and singing) and cununo drums ( 'male' cununo, largest version of this drum, for rhythmic variations, and the 'female' cununo, the smaller version for marking the beat, higher in tone), with cow or goat hide drumheads. The natural environment provided everything needed to create an orchestra and an African symphony, right in the middle of the Colombian rain forest. The authentic Afro-Colombian Fanfare Band - with clarinets, the euphonium, brass pans, snare drums, tambora or large bombo bass drums - this, too, came together in the Department of Chocó.

  The artists featured range from the traditional sounds of marimba, cununo drums and vocals by Grupo Socavon and Naidy, to the hip-hop crew Choc Quib Town, the self-proclaimed purveyors of the new folklore for the younger generation, the urbane hip renditions of Liliana Montes and La Revuelta with their jazzy inflections, the "voice" of the Pacific region Markitos who also sang in the legendary King of Currulao group Peregoyo, folk music kings Pacho Peña y su Chirimia, the legendary vocalist and composer Alfonso "El Brujo" Cordoba, the impudent, rollicking chirimia masters of humorous song La Contundencia and the swinging electric currulao pioneers Grupo Saboreo and Grupo Bahia. Amsterdam-based F.P. Barrio Nuevo blends the Colombian Pacific sound with elements of the Dutch Caribbean, offering a new hybrid for the future.

Afro-Colombian Music

Some 16-24% of Colombia’s population (44 million) is of African descent, giving it the third largest Afro-descendent population in the western hemisphere after Brazil and the United States. This population, spread through different regions in Colombia, has created a rich variety of musical forms in Colombia. Although this dossier will focus primarily on the music of the southern Pacific coast, it is important to recognize this variety among the Colombian regions.




Totó La Momposina y sus Tambores
Colombia – Musique de la côte atlantique


1. Aguacero de Mayo
2. Tres Golpes
3. Soledad
4. Mañanitas de Diciembre
5. El Tigre
6. Mojana
7. Puya Puyara
8. Rosa
9. La Verdolaga
10. Son de Farotas
11. El Piano de Dolores
12. Tambolero
13. La Maya
14. Peyo Torres
15. El Cascabel


Totó la Momposina: Chant
Marco Vinicio Oyaga: Tambor Hembra
Gilberto Martínez: Tambor Macho, Maracas
Julio Renteria: Bombo
Nicolas Rodriguez: Marimbula, Guache
Aurelio Fernandez: Flauta de Millo
Totó la Momposina sings the music of the Atlantic coast backed by a percussion group that includes a marimbula or bass finger-piano and sometimes a cane flute. These days, she is an international performer very popular in France, but this is the nearest thing available to Afro-Colombian roots music, and a pleasure. This and the collection album La Ceiba are non-vallenato releases for a change. 
~ David L. Mayers
 Totó la Momposina
Born into a family of musicians spanning five generations, Toto learned to sing and dance as a child. Her father was a drummer, her mother a singer and dancer; their household lived with the musical traditions of "la costa". As a young woman, she traveled from village to village researching their various rhythms and dances and studying the art of the cantadora. Traditionally the cantadoras are peasants, women who grow yucca, plantain and pumpkins in the patches of land behind their huts. These women play a central role in the village culture. 
In Talaigua, Ramona Ruiz, a fine cantadora now in her eighties who tutored the teen-age Toto, continues to keep this tradition alive. In this community of peasant farmers and fishermen Ramona dispenses everything from marital advice to herbal medicine and, as a vivacious and inspired chande (fiesta and also a rhythm of Talaigua) leader, is able to rustle up a full complement of drummers, dancers and singers at a moment's notice. The songs that the villagers sing to accompany their daily tasks are performed by Toto on stage: rhythmic chants to pace the pounding of the corn, and suggestive lyrics adding spice to the monotony of scrubbing clothes in the river. Men play the drums: boat-builders, fishermen, net-menders and cigar-makers. Music and dance is an integral part of life in Mompos.


Canto, palo y cuero

Martina Camargo
Canto, palo y cuero



1. El Mohan (Berroche)     3:36
2. Me Robaste El Sueño (Tambora)     3:46
3. Guataquí (Berroche)     3:15
4. Idilio (Guacherna)     3:35
5. Nostalgia (Tambora)     3:14
6. Compadre Salvador (Chandé)     2:52
7. Los Ñeques (Berroche)     3:02
8. La Tambora De Cayetano (Tambora)     3:58
9. Daily Karina (Tambora)     2:59
10. La Luna Hermosa (Chandé)     2:53
11. Mano Saye (Tambora)     3:09
12. El Caimán En El Almendro (Tambora Alegre)     3:06
13. Hombre De La Nacion (Tambora Redobla)     2:53
14. La Petronita Olivares (Tambora)     3:18
15. El Cumbion De La Clavada (Guacherna)     3:59
16. Barbudo/ Remangate La Pollera     5:29
Martina Camargo one of the best Colombian folkloric female singers with a strong and lovely voice from the Atlantic coast, she was also part of the very successful group Alé Kumá.
  The greatest afrocolombian voice in traditional roots music. A sensitive and fun album of Tambora music, a tradition played only by native drums and happy voices.




Martina Camargo
Aires De San Martin
Musica De Las Riberas Del Rio Magdalena


01. Pan de Caracas
02. Corré morenita
03. Digan, digan
04. El playón de Santa Rosa
05. La pluma
06. Mi mamá se va a comprar
07. Tambora de palo y cuero
08. Samba llorona
09. La cuba e'
10. La muletilla
11. La Salamanca
12. La Pascua
13. Señora Colombia
14. La mina de los lobanos
15. Sombrerito blanco
16. Corocito
17. La pava echá
 Martina Camargo to represent Colombia on world tour
Monday, 12 July 2010 13:27 Tom Davenport
Martina Camargo

Colombian "tambora" artist Martina Camargo has begun her world tour. The singer from Bolivar is representing Colombia in Europe and the Middle East to mark the bicentenary of her country's independence.

The singer from San Martin de Loba in the Bolivar department has embarked on a journey which will take her to Barcelona, Cairo and Beirut. She was selected by the Ministry of Culture to represent Colombia on the world stage with her traditional brand of "tambora" music. Her tour is part of celebrations to mark the bicentenary of Colombian independence.

"Tambora", derived from the Spanish word "tambor" (meaning drum), is a folkloric musical style which originated in Camargo's home town San Martin de Loba where its lively rhythms can be heard in every street corner. Much like the Venezuelan Gaita and Colombian Cumbia, "Tambora" is punctuated by the rapid beating of hands against drums made from the skin of goats or deer. These percussion instruments were introduced to the Carribean region by African slaves brought there by the Europeans.

Camargo fell in love with music at a young age. Her father Cayetano Camargo, also a famous "tamborero", would sing to her as he rocked her and her five brothers in their hammocks. In 1987 she took to the stage with the "tambora" outfit Alé Kumá. Success was quick to follow for Carmago who went on to win the Tambora Festival in San Martin de Loba in 1988 with her "Las olas de la mar" - her favorite song and a composition of her father.

Later she worked with Aterciopelados-members Andrea Echeverri and Hector Buitrago, but her breakthrough came in 2009  when the magazine "Semana" ranked her album "Canto, palo y cuero" in the ten most important productions of the year.

Carmago, who has already toured in Italy and Mexico, is anxious to see how this international audience will respond to her traditional folkloric music which, she claims, makes Colombians themselves feel more Colombian. 
"I want to make them shiver, I want to make them feel," she told El Espectador. "We are going to whip up a huge party with our drums."
Martina Camargo y Etelvina Maldonado
Trailler: "el BEAT de la TAMBORA" from Patrik Moskera on Vimeo.
This is the story of a town which hearts reside on its music, its relationship with the Magdalena river in the Colombian Momposina’s Depression, a place where all the “Magic sub-realism” of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s books comes to life.

This town has an ancient earthly music tradition called “TAMBORA” a music the rises from the “BEATS” of the alegre drums, la tambora bass drum, las maracas, but mostly from the “BEATS” of the hearts of every son and daughter of this land, whose voices give melody to the “TAMBORA” and whose clapping hands sheer every second of this ground shaking music called “TAMBORA”.

This is the story of a struggle for surviving. A sound that does not wan to stop sounding; A people that does not want to let their ancestral traditions disappear in to the avalanche of globalization, A river that does not want to run dry for the contamination and deforestation of the industrial world; This is the struggle for keeping ones identity, for saving the soul of your land.

This land is called SAN MARTIN DE LOBA, and its heart “BEATS” because of the sound of the “TAMBORA” without it this town will surely die, and a part of every one of us as well.


Canto y Repique de Tambor

Etelvina Maldonado
Canto y Repique de Tambor

Corporación Cultural Cabildo del músico - 2006


1.Así Así
2.Déjala Dí
4.A Piá El Arró
5.Juana Gómez
6.Llego La Cumbia
7.Dame La Mano Prima
9.Ron Café
10.Que Se Quema El Monte
11.Déjala Llorar


Cantaora: Etelvina Maldonado De La Hoz
Tambor Alegre: Orlando Oliveros,
Tambor Alegre: Víctor Medrano (El docto),
Gaita Hembra: Stanley Montero,
Bombo: Luis Ramos,
Guache: Stanley Montero,
Coros: Cecilia Silva, Vania Gelabert y Luis Gonzalez (Luchito).

Músicos Invitados:

Yovanis Pérez Chamorro, Braulio Arnold Salgado.
Colombian Folk Music Legend Etelvina Maldonado Dies at 75
By WMC News Dept. Saturday January 30, 2010
Her legend was solidified in 1996 when the Alé Kumá album by Leonardo Gómez came out. It was a fusion of jazz with traditional music and it included four cantaoras, two from the Pacific region and two from the Caribbean area, combined with a jazz group. One of the female singers was Maldonado.

Since then, Maldonado became known as one of the leading cultivators of Colombian traditional music. One of her highlights was her participation at the Gran Concierto Nacional held last year, where she showcased her talent.

Colombian music critics regarded her as one of the top folk vocalists in Colombia along with Totó La Momposina and Petrona Martínez. However, her fragile health prevented her from touring.

"Etelvina Maldonado was a legend of traditional Colombian music and one of the most important interpreters of Afro-Colombian song," said Kaisha S. Johnson, Director of Touring Artists at the Center for Traditional Music and Dance. "Of particular note, was her association with bullerengue, a musical style originating on the Caribbean coast of Colombia."

Singing was her passion, but also a way to escape poverty. "Every time I went to participate in festivals, I always won or was one of the best," said Etelvina. "In one occasion I sold several of those awards for an opportunity to register my son at school. I’ve always been ready to solve any problem to further their education."
a lot more to read

"El bullerengue es lo mejor de mi vida": Etelvina Maldonado
bullerengue - A Costeño form, performed by flute-and-drum ensembles
A glossary of Colombian music


Alé Kumá


01. Etelvina Maldonado - Se quema el monte (fandango de lengua)
02. Gloria Perea - La choca (aguabajo)
03. Martina Camargo - Una canción en el magdalena (cumbia sentá)
04. Benigna Solís - Oiaymeló (currulao)
05. Etelvina Maldonado - ¿Por Que Me Pegá? (bullerengue sentao)
06. Martina Camargo - Las olas del mar (tambora golpiá)
07. Gloria Perea - Meme, neguito (canción afro)
08. Benigna Solís - Ronca Canalete (juga)
09. Etelvina Maldonado - Negro mirar (bullerengue)
10. Gloria Perea - El moro (abozao)
11. Benigna Solís - A,B,C,CH (bunde)
12. Martina Camargo - Volá pajarito (guacherna)
13. Etelvina Maldonado - Llorando te coge el día (chalupa)
14. Benigna Solís - Berejú (afro-berejú)
15. Martina Camargo - Berroche (berroche)
16. Martina Camargo - Calabazo (berroche)
17. Etelvina Maldonado, Martina Camargo, Benigna Solís, Gloria Perea - Carambantúa (tradicional)

Musicians include:

Etelvina Maldonado: Cantaora
Gloria Perea: Cantaora
Martina Camargo: Cantaora, coro
Benigna Solis: Cantaora, coro

Freddy Henriquez: Piano, coro, bombo, cununos, guazá, totuma
Leonardo Gomez: Contrabajo, marimbula

Paolino Salgado: "Batata" Tambor alegre, coro
Rodny Teherán: Llamador
Jorge Aguillar: Maracón, coro
Nataly Leal: Coro
Juan Carlos Puello: Tambora
Emeris Solis: Cununo hembra, coro
Colombian folklore at its nuanced best.
Featuring the vocalists Etelvina Maldonado, Gloria Perea, Martina Camargo, and Benigna Solis, Alé Kumá fuses soulful singing with driving percussion in the styles of fandando, aguabajo, cumbia, currulao, bullerengue entao, tambora golpiá, canción afro, juga, abozao, bunde, guacherna, chalupa, and berejú.
Highly Recommended. (BP, 2009-03-10)

Alé Kumá's name comes from a traditional Colombian dance, whose origin is indigenous (Guahibo community, located at the east of Colombia) and symbolizes the familiar union that could be translated as "union without rupture". Since its creation, Alé Kumá, has called to collaborate with some of the most interesting Colombian musicians. The greatest afro-Colombian percussionist, Paulino Salgado "Batata III" from San Basilio de Palenque, who already passed away, gave a big contribute to Alé Kumá's project.

The work of Alé Kumá explores the different musical styles from African influence that are largely played  along the Pacific and Atlantic Colombian coasts, as for instance cumbia, fandango, bullerengue, currulao, aguabajo, tambora, paseos, porros. Leonardo and Freddy (piano player) met veteran country cantaoras that have been making circulate the songs from woman to woman and from generation to generation and a lot of  master country percussionists who play this music. Their songs are full of regionalismos and what Leonardo and Freddy have learnt from them is not just its rhythms but its aesthetic and different ways of interpretation that change from one village to another.

What Alé Kumá does is pick up all the different styles of this music, traditional instruments and some of the best representative cantaoras from both Atlantic and Pacific Coast and join harmoniously in the piano and contrabass. The result is traditional compositions arranged with a contemporary touch. The unusual instrument combinations, the clear and pure choral styles and the deep and feisty cantaoras' voices give a magic soul sound that is the key to the success of Alé Kumá.

The experience, sensibility and respect of both traditional and urban musicians became the springboard for Alé Kumá's reinvention of the afro-Colombian musical style. In the Colonial period the Spanish brought European instruments that little by little were introduced into the traditional formats. Some of them as the guitar and the harp were transformed. Some others as the accordion, which later was introduced into vallenato music, and the piano remain intact but adopted the rhythms, melodies and modes from the music to which they were incorporated. The piano and contrabass never before have been introduced into afro-Colombian music but when the musicians and the cantaoras Etelvina Maldonado, Martina Camargo, Benigna Solis and Gloria Perea listened to Freddy's piano and Leonardo's contrabass they were charmed by their sound. All of them were opened up to this new format and immediately aware that they were going to sing and play in a not strictly traditional way.

Alé Kumá's music can't be marketed under the umbrella of straight traditional afro-Colombian music, despite the fact that it preserves the typical elements of the popular tradition. Alé Kumá is the result of a collective criterion, where each one of its experienced members furnishes ideas to the arrangements, which are based on the spontaneity and expressivity of these musical traditions. Alé Kumá is very much their own style and sound. 
It is the Colombian's soul music!

Alé Kumá have recorded till now two fantastic productions. The debut album Cantaoras, declared the best year's traditional production by Colombian weekly magazine Semana, was a highlight of afro-Colombian music in 2002, selling in Colombia more CD's than any other traditional production. It got the gold album, becoming the first time that in Colombia a traditional work was awarded with a such prize.



Sixto Silgado, Paito
y Los Gaiteros de Punta Brava
Gaita Negra



1. El gusto de las mujeres
2. Recordando al grande
3. La avianca
4. La llorona
5. Señora María Macho
6. La promesa
7. Cuando yo aprendi atoca' gaita
8. Lo mejor de Colombia
9. Merengue faroto
10. La dormilona
11. El llanto de Susana
12. El pobre Paíto
13. El sapo
14. Ya se fue el maestro
15. La bozá de la máquina, la bozá del trueno

Sixto Silgado, Paito, gaita
César Carrasquilla, gaita macho
Giovany Silgado, el corso, tambora y coros
Daniel Silgado, ‘Nane’, tambor alegre
Jhon Páez, tambor llamador
José Borre, cantante
Sixto Silgado, Paito and Los Gaiteros de Punta Bravo play some typical drum and fife street music from the Caribbean part of Colombia. ...

The Gaita Colombiana

Gaitas are an indigenous flute of Colombia, commonly used by the Kogi, Zenu and Kuna Indians located on the Atlantic coast of Colombia.There are actually 2 different kinds of gaitas -- the male (macho) and female (hembra). The female has five openings and is responsible for the melody. The male gaita has only 2 openings and plays harmony. Often the person playing the male gaita will have a maraca in the other hand.

The flute is made from a corazon de cardon ( a plant that is hollow when dry), beeswax, and duck feathers.

Originally, the gaita was used in indigenous religious celebrations where the sound of the gaita imitated the sounds of the birds. But, with the cultural mixing of both the Spanish -- and particularly the African peoples, the sounds of the gaita have become an integral part of the culture of the Colombian Caribbean. The gaita plays a critical role in several musical genres including CUMBIA.



La Ceiba

La Ceiba, or the Tree of Life for Mayan culture, represents the belief that all aspects of life are interrelated. Body and mind are the synthesis of human existence and one does not coexist without the other.

For the Mayans, trees were intermediaries between the physical and spiritual worlds, and absolutely essential to life. They believed that without the tree man could not survive and that  "with the death of the last tree comes the death of the human race."

The tree of life is a common symbol in many cultures. To the Maya, the sacred Ceiba tree connects the three layers of the world. The roots reach into the underworld of death, the trunk is in the middleworld of life, and the branches reach up into the upperworld of paradise.

The trees, which grow extremely tall, connect the earth to the sky. It is said that the Ixtabai, the malevolent forest spirit, often frequents them at night. Besides the spiny trunk, the tree also has characteristic seeds imbedded with a soft material known as "kapoc".

The Ceiba is a rapidly growing deciduous tree that reaches heights of 80 feet or more, and a diameter of five to eight feet above its buttresses. 

La Ceiba


01. La Cuidad - Santiago Salgado (merengue)
02. El Manduco - Totó La Momposina (chalupa)
03. Grito de Vaquera - Maria De Los Santos
04. La Muerte - Los Gaiteros De San Jacinto (gaita corrida)
05. Pajarillo - Llano y Leyenda (toropo)
06. El Sapito - Pablo Carvajal (puya)
07. Tres Clarinetes - Concours de Fanfares de San Pelayo (fandango)
08. La Verdolaga - Totó La Momposina/Estefania Caicedo (bullerengue)
09. Cuando Llora el Indio - Los Gaiteros De San Jacinto (gaita corrida)
10. Criollito de Pura Cepa - Llano y Leyenda (seis por derecho)
11. La Ceiba - Cantadores De Arbolete (bullerengue)
12. Arbolete - Santiago Salgado (paseo)
13. Grito de Monte - Maria De Los Santos
14. El Estanquillo - Siete Notas (paseo)
15. A Pilar Arroz - Totó La Momposina/Estefania Caicedo (bullerengue)
16. Se Va Mama - Pito De Las Sabanas (bullerengue)
17. Mi Capi - Tres De Copa (bambuco)
18. Celestina - Los Gaiteros De San Jacinto (porro)
Performers include: Toto La Momposina.
Featured are new versions of several of Toto la Momposina's performances, along with several other groups playing gaitas, porros, bullerengues, and even a fandango. ~ David L. Mayers
I say: shut up, dl and listen...

Colombian music and culture are truly representative of the area's geographic regions. As with many of the countries in the continent of South America, combinations of European, African and indigenous traditions emerged over the centuries, producing a wide variety of music (and dance) styles.
read it all here 
more to read & see


Raiz Pantaneira

Helena Meirelles
Raiz Pantaneira



1. Volta da Guira Campana
2. Agua Parada
3. 1st de Maio
4. Fandango Em Porto
5. Rincao Guarani
6. Dona Dalva
7. Rio Negrinho
8. A Familia Arrastape
9. Nha Lorona
10. Acampamento Cerrollon
11. Capelinha Branca
12. Viradouro
13. Epitaciana
14. Guiomar
Helena Meirelles: Violão, Dobro, Viola
Gesílio Pereira: Baixo
Francisco Machado: Violão
Ailton Torres: Violão
Sérgio Reis: Vocal (14)
All tracks Helena Meirelles,
just track 14: Haroldo Lobo, Wilson Batista
I am a 49 years old Brazilian who grew up inland that country. Much to my parents disappointment, and to our maids relief in relation to the destination of my soul, I believed in mules-without-head, in devils incarnated as people with their goat-feet, and in the power of the holy water to make them explode leaving a sulphur smell... I only saw TV or a paved road when I went to Rio de Janeiro to visit my grandparents.
I had the privilege of living in different areas of Brazil, and to get to know its people, with their simplicity and wisdom, with their hopes and their suffering, with their disbeliefs--in politicians and government--and beliefs in the Other world, both marvelous and terrifying.
This way, through beloved maids and their families, I got to know the simple people's music, the ones played at backyards of simple homes at night, and at the farms by the simple workers using a "violão" (guitar), a "viola de doze cordas" (12 strings guitar), and a "sanfona" (acordeon).
The sounds were tangent, sad, melodious, and they were fading from the popular memory as the country started its exceedingly fast urbanization process in the late 50s.
Recently, some very special people have been digging the musical soil of the states of Goiás, Minas Gerais, and Mato Grosso. This "mining" process has uncovered beautiful gems, and Helena Meirelles is one of the most beautiful of them all: a clear Diamond!
I never heard about her until this February, when my husband came from Brazil with one of her records: "Raiz Pantaneira" (Pantaneira Roots - Pantanal is the swampy area in Mato Grosso do Sul).
It was fascination at first hearing: the soul of the aparently simple people of Goiás and Mato Grosso, with a Guarany background (Mato Grosso was taken by force from Paraguay one day, not long ago...), comes through her music. She is a master composer and a prodigy player, and I could only fall in love with this old Lady of Inland Brazil: Helena Meirelles!
May G'd bless you Helena for all the joy you bring to the world through your music, so simple and so elaborate, so happy and so sad: the music of a suffered people's soul. 
~Sonia Bloomfield Ramagem 
Helena Meirelles was born on a farm in the heart of the hinterlands of the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. The images familiar to her since she was a child were of rural workers, the routine of raising large herds of cattle, and the violeiros (rural musicians). She learned how to play the viola at nine. After an imposed marriage at 17 and the subsequent abandonment of her home, she became involved with several partners and lived in the hottest places, where there always was prostitution, music, and booze. In such hard living, she even had some of her 11 children all by herself, with no help whatsoever. In complete poverty, after 30 years without any contact with her family, she was found by her son who took her to her sister's home where she was taken care of. After a short while, in 1993, her nephew recorded a tape of her playing and sent it to Guitar Player magazine. The magazine's reporters had a hard time when they tried to find the sul-mato-grossense illiterate female musician, who lived in the distant and small city of Presidente Epitácio (São Paulo). She also didn't have a telephone and was completely unknown to the Brazilian specialized press and recording market. But in the next year, Guitar Player had included her in its list of the 100 best picks ever, together with B.B. King, Eric Clapton, and Jimi Hendrix's. In the first of three albums, Helena Meirelles released in that year, she took a large track to account for her life, providing great insight into her peculiar trajectory. She performed in a theater for the first of many times at 67, and her mostly instrumental albums reach an average 80,000 sold copies each, which is considered excellent in this market niche. 
~ Alvaro Neder, All Music Guide

thanks to Spinning In Air for showing the way :)


Caminhos Me Levem

Almir Sater
Caminhos Me Levem



1. O vento e o tempo Ouvir (Paulo Simões, Almir Sater)
2. Caminhos me levem Ouvir (Paulo Simões, Almir Sater)
3. Brasil poeira Ouvir (Almir Sater, Renato Teixeira)
4. Floresta do arco-íris Ouvir (Almir Sater)
5. Pagode bom de briga Ouvir (Paulo Simões, Almir Sater)
6. Milhões de estrelas Ouvir (Paulo Simões, Almir Sater)
7. Viola fora de moda Ouvir (Capinan, Edu Lobo)
8. Cabecinha no ombro Ouvir (Paulo Borges)
9. Sodade matadeira Ouvir (Dorival Caymmi)
10. Mochileira Ouvir (Geraldo Roca)
Almir Sater brings to us the sweet music of the Brazilian wilderness of Pantanal, one of the most beautiful parts of the Earth, most of it still untouched. All the mystery, the starry nights, simple country love, the lonely train crossing the plains and the little boat sailing down the mighty river, all these images and draems, that's what the music is all about. All through his voice and the voice of his viola (the brazilian ten strings guitar). Great music!
~ Alexandre D. Tenorio

Muita paz.
Canções com ritmo , que fazem pensar no mundo em que vivemos, na vida e nos acontecimentos... Lindos versos, poesia, excelente para românticos... Alguns ritmos lembram o velho oeste. As instrumentais fazem viajar a um mundo inexistente... cheio de paz.
~ Marianna Degen Alves
Almir Eduardo Melke Sater (Campo Grande, 14 de novembro de 1956) é um violeiro, compositor, cantor e ator brasileiro.

Born in Mato Grosso do Sul (CW), he used to play the guitar as a child, but only discovered the viola caipira (an adapted acoustic guitar, smaller than the usual 6-string, used in the countryside) in Rio de Janeiro, where he was studying Law. Sater gave up becoming a lawyer and, instead, decided to take guitar lessons with Tião Carreiro. Later, he returned to Campo Grande (capital of Mato Grosso do Sul) and lined-up the duo Lupe & Lampião. In 1979, he moved to São Paulo, becoming a back up musician to singers like Tetê Spíndola and Diana Pequeno. His debut album, "Almir Sater", was released on Continental in 1981, followed by "Dona", on RGE. Three years later, he put the Comitiva Esperança together, touring the pantanal region and researching the music from the area. After releasing other albums and playing the Free Jazz festival, in 1989, Sater played a part in a soap-opera, which helped projecting his music. He released "Terra dos Sonhos" in 1994...
Música Caipira (Brazilian Country Music)

Brazilian countryside on viola strings
Rosa Nepomuceno

The catholic chants brought by Jesuits were mixed with Portuguese tunes and the dance and music of the Indians, original landlords of the newly discovered tropical country. Many styles emerged from that mixture, especially in the southeast, then in the south and center-western regions, integrating what would be known as "música caipira" (literally, country music). The viola, a Brazilian type of small, acoustic guitar, was carved from tree trunks. In the early days, the strings were made out of animals’ guts; later, they were switched to wire, and through the years, the viola has been testified as the basic instrument for the countryside style. Caipira is one among many words emerged from the incorporation of tupi and other indigenous idioms with Portuguese in colonial times. When broken down, we have caa (bushes), pir (something that cuts) and cururu, which is how the Indians attempted to say cruz (cross).

Missionaries moved
To prove their love
To the natives that feared
The foreign invader
But hearing the mellow sound
Of a weeping viola
The careful primitives
Leaned over to enjoy it.

(Assim Nasceu o Cururu, Cap. Furtado e Laureano)

...Through the 90s, the pop-sertanejo (tailored for foreign markets) and the neo-caipiras (educated musicians interested in rescuing the original roots of the style) managed to live in harmony. 

The latter have developed their own independent labels and show circuits. The key artists for the movement are Renato Teixeira and viola expert Almir Sater. Currently, Roberto Corrêa, Ivan Vilela, Pereira da Viola and Chico Lobo (from Minas Gerais), and Miltinho Edilberto (from São Paulo) are some of the greatest caipira music performers/composers.

...read the whole thing here

Roberto Correa
Viola Caipira